This story originally ran in the October 8, 2015 Edition of Our Sunday Visitor, and was the inspiration for the Catholic Home series. I’m posting it here, so it can be accessed digitally by those without an OSV subscription.
The Catholic Faith, always and everywhere, is an embodied faith. It’s a faith of sacraments and sacramentals, of liturgical rituals and liturgical gestures. It’s a faith that recognizes that all creation is made by God, loved by God and speaks of God. Matter, in this world, always possesses the potential to be an occasion of grace.
Catholics know this. We feel it in our bones, even if we can’t articulate it. That’s why, when we walk into a Catholic church, we expect to see what we believe reflected back to us, not just in the sacred liturgy, but in the building itself — in the height of its ceilings and the cleanliness of its carpet, in the sacred art in the sanctuary and the placement of the sacred vessels on the altar. In effect, we expect to see our faith made incarnate in plaster, glass and marble, with the very walls proclaiming the glory of God.
We should expect to see something similar when we walk into a Catholic home.